By Lily, age 10

Once upon a time there was a poor girl whose father was blind and very old. Because he was blind and could not work, she had to do all the housework by herself.  Every day she took her water pot from the shelf and went to get water at a nearby well. 

One day while cleaning the house, she removed her water pot so that she could dust the shelf.  As she was finishing the task, she peeked inside and found four beautiful jewels.  Each one was a different, rich color.  She reached inside and picked one up.  It was smooth and slippery.  “What is it?” she wondered. She thought they were interesting, so she wanted to keep them.  Then she hid them under her dust cloth and took the pot to get water as she usually did.  She did not expect the strange incident to happen again.

The following morning she woke up and, after fixing breakfast, hurried to get her water pot. Again she found a handful of jewels. She put those under her dust cloth, too. That night she thought that this was very strange. “Who is putting those beautiful things in my water pot?” she thought. 

When she woke up the next day, she quickly ran and looked in her pot and discovered that there were two handfuls of jewels.  She put them under the dust cloth and walked to the well, just as she usually did.  That night she wondered greatly about who had been doing this strangely wonderful deed.  She wanted to find out who the person could be.

As soon as she awoke, she ran to her water pot and found three handfuls inside. This time she decided to go and show them to her father.  “He might know what they are,” she thought.  So, she put the jewels in her father’s hands, and described them. 

“These are jewels Mary! They are worth a lot of money!” he said excitedly.            

So she hurried to sell some of them, but kept the first four, because she thought, “I might use them for something someday.” She earned 16,000 gold coins.

Later that day she decided to give away her old clothes which weren’t very ragged.  She gave them to a poor man, who thanked her and told her that his wife needed them.  She went to bed that night and thought about how blessed the man and his wife felt.

Very early the next morning, she heard a knock at the door.  When she opened the door, she saw a footman from the palace dressed in rich clothes. “Good morning. Here is an invitation to the royal ball,” he announced.   

“THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!” she yelled and then slammed the door.  She dashed to her room to get her best gown ready.

That night at the ball she danced with the prince and they fell in love. Later that night, they sat together and talked. “So, tell me how you grew up,” the prince said.

“Well, me and my father were very poor until one day someone started putting jewels in my water pot,” she replied. Then, she had an idea. “Do you know who put jewels in my water pot?” she asked. The prince was about to answer when they both heard a deep voice.  

“I did.”           

The prince jumped. “Father?” he said. They both turned around. There standing in front of them was the king himself!

The girl quickly curtsied and said, “Your Majesty.”             

“No need,” he continued. “I did, because when you went to fetch water every morning I noticed how kind and gentle you are. I wanted my son to marry you and I knew that the only way he could see you was at a ball, and the only way you could be invited was if you were wealthy. So, I did.” He smiled. “I can see that my plans went just as I pleased,” he said.  The prince and the girl were speechless.  Suddenly the girl broke the silence.

“I must tell my father! He will be so grateful to you.”          

The king replied, “Certainly you will tell your father. You may go home to tell him right now.”

When the girl returned, she brought her father with her. “My lord,” he murmured. 

“My good man, it pleases me to know that you raised such a kind and beautiful daughter,” the king told him. The girl’s father smiled with pride. “Will you give your permission for my son to marry your daughter?” the king asked.

“Yes, of course,” the girl’s father replied.     

The wedding was splendid. And so, with lots of love (and great riches) they all lived happily ever after.


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